TSB’s Emma Stacey on David Schwimmer and “money confidence” during the pandemic

Jasmine Butler Burnham

Marketing Manager

The Financial Services Forum

“As a sector financial services has never been more important,” says Emma Stacey, Head of Marketing and Engagement for TSB. “Being able to effectively communicate and support customers is more crucial than ever.”

Since January, Emma’s main priority has been balancing customer acquisition with supporting and helping customers through “something unprecedented”.

“Our existing customers have different banking needs to before: they may be paying debt down or starting to save or being more at a cliff edge in terms of finance.

“Our work is really diverse at the moment.”

TSB’s tagline is “delivering money confidence to everyone every day.” Emma says this was generated from research, and the “astounding fact that people don’t believe their bank is really on their side and there to help them.

“If you ask where they would go for financial advice, banks don’t always feature as highly as you’d expect them to and yet they look after money on daily basis.”

The company combats this by offering confidence. During the pandemic, this has included offering the likes of repayment holidays as well as its fraud refund guarantee, which covers not just traditional fraudulent activity but also people who have fallen victim to a scam. Emma points out that the average pay-out over fraud is around 38% while TSB’s is 99%.

So how does this translate to a marketing message? The brand positioning for consumers focuses on “life made more”, launched at the end of 2020. This is the idea that if you’re feeling confident about your money you will feel able to do more with it, making small but positive changes to your life.

TSB chose Friends star David Schwimmer to front the campaign. In the advert, Schwimmer travels around the UK while members of the public take part in fun activities. The advert leans on the actor’s hapless Friends persona, as people react to his attempts to ingratiate himself with general bewilderment.

“When you’re feeling in control of your money you can spend it on what makes you happy, whatever it is that makes you happy,” he says in the ad.

“What we wanted to do with [the campaign] was really celebrate all the diverse ways people have a life made more,” explains Emma. “We wanted to be able to do that in a way that allowed us to have the freedom to observe but also be part of that and celebrate the humour without being seen as derogatory or judgemental.”

As someone “recognisable, trusted and humorous”, Schwimmer was the “perfect person”.

The company has been using a blend of linear and digital TV to ensure that the advert was targeted as effectively as possible.

“One of the big changes in the industry is around the importance of data and effective use of data so our messaging is increasingly relevant to people we target.”

Summarising the campaign, Emma explains: “It’s being very mindful of circumstances and difficulties, but also focusing on the truth that all of us want a life made more. You need to be in the mood of what customers are ready to think about and look at.”

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